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Melissa Harris- Perry

News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. (2013) New.

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Us 14, America 12, U.s. 7, Homelessness 5, United States 4, Smith 4, Louisiana 4, Garth 4, Obama 4, Reed 3, Jeremy 3, Bjorn 3, Bob 3, Warfarin 3, China 3, Atlanta 3, Legalzoom 2, Wic 2, Siemens 2, At&t 2,
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  MSNBC    Melissa Harris- Perry    News/Business. Melissa  
   Harris-Perry.  (2013) New.  

    May 12, 2013
    7:00 - 9:01am PDT  

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through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today and make your business dream a reality. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. this morning we are trying something different. our entire show is dedicated to one simple idea -- that poverty in america can be involved, and we're talking to the people who know how to do it. this administration today here and now declares unconditional war on poverty in america. >> the federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won. >> our best people are falling into poverty even though they work 40 hours a week. >> we know that deep persistent poverty is unworthy of our
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nation's promise. >> let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earths no one who works full time should have to live in positive. good morning. thor we american presidents, all placing poverty on the national agenda. despite the passionate rhetoric and lofty promises, too many of our fellow americans continue to shoulder the heavy burden of poverty. so today we're going to talk more when poverty can be solved, in fact it must be solved.
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doesn't mean that's where you will end up. born rich, if you don't work hard and earn your own way, can you lose that fortune. that's the promise, the dream. economic mobility should be possible for everyone, but this dream to be true we would have to be living in a meritocracmer. it shows us just the opposite. a study, the 2008 economic crisis aloss cost 16.1% of americans are living in poverty. comparatively the united states is less economically mobile than comparative nations.
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when it comes to income and equality, between 1979 and 2008, after-tack income grew 275% for the top 1%, but just 18% for that bottom fifth. in 2010 in 2011, more than 1 in 5 were poor. in fact children are the poorest in our country. sadly, contrary to the american promise, the circumstances you are born into may very well dictate where you end up dying. why? why are people poor? why do people born poor remain poor? most importantly, what are we going to do about it? kasim reed of atlanta, marianna chilton director of the center for hunger-free communities. she also founded witnesses to
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hunger, an organization dedicated to increasing women's participation in the national dialogue on hunger an poverty. michael tanner, senior fellow at cato institute, where he heads research into a variety of domestic pells, including social welfare and mauricio is a social innovator and appointed by president obama to the white house council for community solutions. thank you all for being here. >> thank you for having us. >> our goal is to get to solutions why are people poor? >> i think the media and legislators have a certain attitude about poverty and about people who are poor, so first of all, we need to change our attitudes and make sure they are
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at the table, the decision-making table and that they have an opportunity to have a voice in the media as well. so we've got attitudes, we've got or wage structure, and we've got an issue of childhood poverty. mayor, do you have a different way of imagining why are people poor? >> i think people are poor, because we are turning away from making the hard decision, we are no longer treating poverty in the united states of america as a national crisis, and the entire discussion around poverty has moved away.
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so in my mind, many of our conservative friends have been winning the argument. we're not making -- we now immediate to make, because those initiatives have lost in terms of public opinion despite their effectiveness. what we've got to do is determine what has worked over the last 40 years, and we need to change this conversation and top acting like when we help people come out of poverty we're doing them a favorite. while an important part of the christian ethic, it's a part of whether america will continue to be the number one economy. we will not continue to be the number one economy in the world if we have large pockets of poverty we've hear two
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relatively progress i have world views on this, forefronting issues of structure, accountability, and how our media-based conversation around poverty are. >> poverty is sort of the national and what we do know is what we're and another $280 billion, yet we're not doing anything to reduce of left of poverty. that would suggest to me we have the wrong focus. it's not about how to make poverty more comfortable. it's about how to get people out of the poverty so that they're not dependent on government.
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>> so i want to challenge you on some thing but want to sit it for a moment. mauricio, your work is very much on the ground with families. why are people poor? and if we continue to lose the mobility, which we used to have, and now we're falling behind, then you're never going to draw people out of poverty. part of the reason we have lost or economic ability is we don't invest in their initiative. when you graduate from stanford, you have millionaires willing to invest in you. i came out of a poor family, there's no investment system when you work hard. that's what my family did. we worked hard, yet there's no system for that. you only teem we got help is if we were needy. it isn't that we don't need that, but the issue is we don't have an investment system for
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investment, not none you are risch. >> i want to back up some of what you said there, when we look at economic classes in the u.s., it is in fact clear from the data that 62% of americans raised in the top fifth stay in that top two-fifths and that 65% of those born in the bottom fifth actually also stay down there. that's what the data shows us, that indicates this economic mobility is not happening, and the one place where maybe two of you are coinciding is this idea that rather than like the relative bottom, it's about saying when you make a little bit of progress, part of what we've done is snatch the social safety net every time you make a little bit of progress, and then you can't make that next step of progress. is that what you've seen? >> absolutely. i think one of the examples we have found in our research, which is a national study that looks at policy, we find that when parents report they've
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earned just a bit more money, enough just to lose their snap benefits or food stamp benefits, then their children are more likely to be hungry and to be hospitalized and have poor cognitive, social development, so we're punishing families to doing what they're supposed to be doing, working hard, trying to get ahead, they go overthe income, and then -- i agree, we have lots of different programs very uncoordinated, and we need to make sure they're in place enough to help families move out and stay out of the poverty. >> one of the things -- i'm going somewhere slightly different, michael. are we asking the wrong question? maybe we should be asking why are people uber-wealthy? so when we talk about that income disparity, we always focus on bricking the bottom up and generally don't think as much about whether or not we think it's ethical for people to
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have so much at the top. >> why do we care? >> good question. >> you don't make anyone rich by making someone else poorer? >> you could. you can't redistribute income. >> or make everyone wealthier, if we were to double -- we wouldn't do nothing about inequality, but lifting people out of poverty. it's not about tearing down the rich and making them poorer. if you go back to the recession, the people who lost the most money were the wealthy, because the investment tanked. >> right, but the impact on people's -- that money didn't get redistributed to the bottom. lots more to do. when we get back, we're going straight to solutions. when we come back, we're going to stop asking why and start asking, what can we do about it? [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest...
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we are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an american, she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of god, but also in our own. that was president barack obama at his second inaugural speech in january this year. as thomas jefferson wrote -- all persons are created equal, and that among them are the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." if we believe them, we have to find solutions to poverty. so mauricio, if you believe that people are working hard, but not
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being rewarded for it, what are the structures we put in place to reward and move people out of poverty? >> if you look at the -- a lot of people talk about reforming the current structures. it measures need. the more need you have, the more resources you need -- my sister used to get beat up. sure enough, she needed counseling and needed to assess that particular piece. what we have is a system that we use, is really an investment system. totally different. what we feed is a system that measures initiative, measures hard work. we don't have that lo low income. >> does that look like a system of microlending? what does it look like? >> my biggest lessons were once i became middle class, there's a whole set the diverse resources to me. i'll hire a financial planner, you can buy real estate, you can
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match your retirement account. what we need is that diversity of resources available to people that are low income based on their initiative and hard work. that means you have to measure, account for the fact that people are working hard. once you get that data, that's what we've been tracking for the last ten years. not their need. when we track their initiative, we find our greatest asset in the country is low income working people. >> we have worked with low income women and we have found in order to make ends meet, they're doing hair, nails, caters, child care, housekeeping, very savvy, wonderful entrepreneurs, and yet this side business, sometimes they call it a hustle, they have to hide it from the case workers, because it's a tiny bit of income. the last thing they want is the risk of losing the benefits.
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so we have so much potential that's very well hidden, we need to legitimize and bring it out into the open. >> here's my concern. on the one hand, obviously we want a system that rewards hard work. the issue of need is in part about the fact of the majority -- and becky the way with the elderly, with our social security benefits, which maid an enormous difference, because we had when you're elderly we should meet your need. i don't think kids have to do something or perform something for us to put that social safety net underneath them. >> we are fundamentally a nation
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at gridlog. between the right and the left. if we don't make this a national priority, because right now the u.s. is about 22 to 24% of global gdp, and over the next 20, 30, 40 years because of the rise of china and others, our gdp is going down to 18 or 19% of the world. what that has serious ramifications on our ability to continue to see where we have been in the world. they are not going to respond to what they haven't responded to in the last 40 years. you have a steeper hill to climb, because democrats don't even have the conversations we're having, and i've been guilty of it myself.
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>> around my discomfort or concern about the individual narrative, i know that a lot of people on the right believe that one of the fundamental issues around poverty single parenting, right? and the issue of, for example, but when we look at the poverty rates for single moms, it is true on the one hand single moms, about 41% are in poverty unless they have full-time year-round employment, at which point it drops to 14%. it's not seven being an unmarried mom, but about not having economic opportunity. is that the main solution? >> it is the main solution. we do know that generally education is probably the most determinant, if you're a high school dropout, the chances of poverty -- if you give birth and you're not married, your chances of being in poverty are much greater than if not, and a whole host of social pathologies that
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stem from that. third, it's a matter of getting any job, even a minimum wage job and working your way up. >> so walk back for me, because i do think this always feels like this is one of the places where the left/right conversation gets sticky. we've seen it already on the website. right away people say don't have babies, like the social pathology language comes rushing out. is there a way to talk about individual responsibility without doing that? >> this is not a moral judgment issue. but we do know the fact that children brought up in single-parent families are mock likely at risk for almost any problem you have. you can pick the host of them and the academic literature shows they're more at risk. >> a lot of them are at risk for being msnbc hosts, too? there must be five of us here
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that are single parents. i want to take apart the single mom part versus the poverty part. >> i think i'm stuck between the right and the left right now. >> good. >> a lot of it is we keep going to the individuals, and we should do this because we've studied that. we have a whole history of america of not just people, entire communities getting out of poverty. african-americans before and after slavery, the irish, the polish, you name it. so there's a solution, which we tend to forget, try to over-research the same thing. the way it used to happen is people counted on each other, coming together. >> yes. >> when one polish worker got a job, he helped his friends. we've tested that out for the last ten years at the family independence initiative. and we have found that people will and do come together. out of that you get whole community behaviors start to change. so the fact is they do need
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resources. it's not an initial thing. >> but you need a bootstrap, but you need to all pull it together. >> we have to focus on community. >> everyone hold on for me. we're going to dig into this issue as soon as we come back. we'll bring someone to the table, who is in fact working on these questions. [ male announcer ] this is bob,
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start by telling me a bit of your story. how did it happen for you? >> well, basically we became homeless, because my son kept getting sick. he started having seizures at a very young age. they ran his blood and they found out he had lead poisoning. we fought back and forth tooth and nail with the landlord to try to get them to fix things as most homes if philadelphia, they do can be patch jobs, and then a month later it falls again. me and my us husband had a bit of savings. we decided to, you know, move out, had already been on the section 8 wait list for a while. we decided to move out and went to live in a hotel. what difference would it make if
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you both had it? >> of course, my kids need their medical insurance, but i also have disabilities myself. my husband does not, but we have to be healthy in order to take care of our children. the one thing i was listening about is the safety net and things like that. it's totally not right. you know, when my husband became unemployed, we both went to the center, and we were encouraged to get a job, dress the part, look the part. we beth gained employment. they snatched everything, our ccis, or medical. we get food stamps, yes, but yogts anything else. so it's like you build a person up, tell them to follow these different steps. as soon as they do that, you snatch the bottom out from underneath them.
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it's not a theory, this is the reality. so what are the real-time solutions? you have to keep the safety net for crisis. a different set many people have to look at initiative. tiana has talent, skills. we don't have a system that measures that and invests in that. >> >> what do you see as the things that become useful in a family situation like this? >> first of all, i think, as i was saying before, families who are low income are completely left out of the national dialogue. when the mayor was saying before it's a conversation between democrats and -- are completely
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out of the dialogue. on a show like this. especially are speaking directly to through legislative visits, through giving talks, through presenting directly to the press. at that same time, when it came down to the united states senate to talk about her photographs. was on the first of all, we have to recognize that those experiencing policy, they knows the solutions. they need to be a part of this dialogue.
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what we -- what i've experienced, at least, is when we see can't we match that this we certainly -- prime loans, yes, we can, those types of things that have -- do you make resources available? one of the -- >> is it one of things you would say -- if there's just one, if you always do this, it would make a big difference for my family, what would it be? >> invite me to the table. don't assume that you know what it's like. for one, it's the myth busters. you want to know whats best for me? ask me. i can tell you.
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i'm very hardworking, i'm very diligent, you know, then it's the thing where people think it's genetics, passed down the my mother was never on public assistance, and that's why i'm glad we're having more conversations like this. until we can have more conversations and sit around and say those are the statistics, nothing is going to happen. how often do we actually sit down and talk to a child about what's going on in the household and how many times they've been through -- stay with with me. we are going to talk all of those questions. this is an intense went. thank you to all of you. they are going to be joining us again later in the program.
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before we go, i79 to encourage everyone to visit the website inplatesight.msnbc.com where you can learn much more about the ongoing series by nbc news features poverty in america. many voices are feature there. still to come, solutions for homelessness, hunger and the essential need to reform our criminal justice system. stay with us. everyone's retirement dream is different; how we get there is not. we're americans. we work. we plan. ameriprise advisors can help you like they've helped millions of others. to help you retire your way, with confidence. ♪ that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you.
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to have an honest debate about how to solve policy, we have to believe everyone has goodwill, but even if our approaches differ, we all want poverty to end. the reality is there are those for whom poverty creates a profit. one of the ways poor families
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make ends meet is through payday loans, and payday lenders operate with varied levels of freedom in as many as 36 u.s. states action lending to a total of 5.5% of adults in the country over the past five years, according to a pew survey. that adds up to about 12 million americans going to a storefront center or online to borrow an average of $375 per loan, which might sound like a reasonable way to get the cash to covered emergency expenses, until you factor in the more than $520 on average spent on interests for those same loans. that same pew survey shows that 69% of those who take out a payday loan for the first time are doing so for recurring expenses like rent, food and utilities. the average borrowers using eight loans per year, eight. lasting 18 days each. the marketing pitch from these
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loan companies, they're selling short-term fixes, but payday loans are becoming a long-term headache for the people using them, and for the economy. 24 cents, i mean, that doesn't sound like much, but that's how much the economy lost for every dollar of interest paid. thatted added up to $774 million lost for the economy. there were 56,250 of those for individuals in 2011, costing about 3,000 per case. that means thanks to the payday loan business, nearly $1 billion gone from the u.s. economy.
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which is why 260 groups and individuals submitted a her in march, urging action against the banks that prey on the poor for profit. we may not be able to soft poverty overnight, but this one we could fix. no one should be charged 400% interest just to make ends meet. when we come back, a different look at the roaring return on the housing market. ?
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because you can fly any airline anytime. two words. double miles! this guy can act. wanna play dodge rock? oh, you guys! and with double miles you can actually use, you never miss the fun. beard growing contest and go! ♪ i win! what's in your wallet? by now you must have heard that housing is back. news outlets are reporting that month after month, industry groups are touting the best year-over-year performance in over seven years for metropolitan areas, median home prices. instead the news for homeowners is getting so good, president obama highlighted it in his weekend media address. >> today seven years after the real estate bub burst, triggers the worst economic situation --
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and our housing market is healing. sales are up, foreclosures are down, construction is expanding, and thanks to rising home prices over the past year, 1.7 million more american million families have beenible to come up for air. >> yeah, for many american homeowners, even those who have struggled since the housing balloon burst, the news is good and getting better. if you're among the 3 million americans who experience homelessness or the erly 100,000 americans chronically homeless, the rising price of faux loft condos likely means very little to you. to bring our confers to issues of housing, i'm joined by tiana gaines-turnser, kasim reed, and james perry, executive director of the greater new orleans fair housing action center, and for
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you nerdland viewers, he's also my husband. atlanta has experienced both a really tough time when the housing market crashed and is now coming back. how is it going for poor folks even as it comes back? >> more than 5,000 jobs have come back. that's a big get for us. and the array the jobs associated with that is healthy for people who need a hand up. these kind of jobs give a pat to --
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>> i'm wondering, james. what about people who are on the precipice continuously of ownership. >> first of all, happy mother's day to my wonderful wife. >> thank you. wow, you're good. >> incredible mother and wife. >> thank you. second. housing is back for the people who never lost it. they find that for every 100 people in extreme positive. so there just isn't enough for all -- to this basic concept there is enough, or even that the housing market is back, the issue is that the housing market, even before, when it was boomling, wasn't serving the people who had the most dire needs. >> you said earlier tiana, u.s. to follow up on this, you said you had been waiting with a
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section 8 voucher. is that because there simply wasn't enough artable housing? >> exactly. it wasn't to the point where, for one, i can't get a loan to get a house because of my credit. for two, i probably wouldn't want to get a loan if i could, because i wouldn't be able to pay is, so now we're talking about interest rates. for three, the waiting list is exquisite way too long. i was on a waiting list personally for ten years. i felt like when i became homeless and because i had three small children at the time who had medical issues, once i let them know that i would be able to move up on the list because i was in that situation. i was told technically you're not home lulls technically, because you live in a hotel. if you're not in a shelter, to certain perhaps it doesn't seem like you're homeless. i always make sure that people that's not always the indicates. me and my husband made a decision to move out for the betterment of our child.
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but it's horrible. you know, if you think about it, just pictures this in your mind, for one being an adult homeless, but for two adults homeless with a small child. you know, this myth that people have, i went to work i went to the section 8 office every day. my husband went to work every day. it was a simple fact it was so hard for us to get housing. then once you get put out, i'm sure you know, another landlord would look and say we don't want to take her, because she has a judgment -- >> because she's been out. >> or put out. not once sitting down with me and having the conversation to understand why. >> the work that you all do, jeremy, addresses some of these interconnected things that mime experiencing homelesses in experience so often. what are the key policy interventions that make a difference. >> people are homeless because
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they don't have housing. a colleague of mine has put together a great chart, not very complicated, but it illustrates the point well. beginning in the late '70s, began to disinvest. eventually the chart essentially shows that those two things intersect unfortunately the industry -- the housing industry is simply not constructing affordable housing for low-income people. there are things we could do to fix that. the hud budget needs to be increased in these times of challenging budget situations. we could do things like fund the national housing trust fund. >> you know what? this is such an important one, i'm going to pause, because we
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have to take a break. as soon as we come back, i'll ask you what it is and how it helps to solved homelessness. [ jackie ] it's just so frustrating... ♪ the middle of this special moment and i need to run off to the bathroom. ♪ i'm fed up with always having to put my bladder's needs ahead of my daughter. ♪ so today, i'm finally talking to my doctor about overactive bladder symptoms. [ female announcer ] know that gotta go feeling? ask your doctor about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents, for 24 hours. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or can not empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. get emergency medical help right away if your face, lips, throat or tongue swells.
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one of my favorite moments on this show was a few months ago, james, you were on, there was this moment when the consideration was, yeah, we can end homelessness in america. what's one of the ways? >> it's pretty incredible, this idea that something we assume is permanent is actually solvable. it's called the afford annual housing trust fund. the idea is we need to allocate enough money, frankly enough resources to end homelessness. right now one of the biggest subsidies that exists is a
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subsidy for mortgage interests deductions. it's about an 80 billion year subsidy. so right now that substitute is the point is. >> so this is in part a solution that so we were talking about the break, mayor, the challenges that cities face. >> i think one it's time and cheap, the 75% of -- so a lot of
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these issues, we've got a great parker in shawn donovan. he's very open to create activity. we won a bloomberg we housed 114 veterans since he issued that challenge, because there are wrap-around services. >> a lot of this is personal in and initiative, making it a priority and galvan nicing the support you need. we also sent 190 people out into the cold in january who personally interviewed 650 people. not just a drive-by, but to find out what happened in your life, where do you sleep at night, what would change your life so that we could built a program
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that deals with what -- but i don't buy this notion i do agree with your have i that we have full funding for the programs we have. there are a lot of mayors that are doing amazing things. >> i think in his community is the cost of inaction. that imposes no cost, but actually impose it is quite a large cost. of course for people they're living outdoors and highly vulnerable, but also imposes police cost -- when they have no other choice and imposes health care -- >> or emergency rooms.
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>> i do want to back up a second, this is fundamentally a resource -- i want to back up, though, so one way to think about this, we have this pie, right is it so every wands a piece of this pie. the 1% gets more and more of the pie. we have this huge pie, and the 1% gets everything, so all the rest we are left with is a sliver, a tiny piece of pie. so you have corporations, some of who -- we're going to support, that's what bloom burg did. but there are all these other corporations who simply don't do that. they hoard or keep their piece of the pie. we have to be clear here that we are trying to solve this problem
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with a slump. >> tiana, we're out of time, but you have your story is on our web side because as you and i were talking about, this cost of homelessness is not just the public cost, but on families and children. >> definitely. >> you know, when i was homeless, they had you have to pay for court calls. i'm homeless where i do get that money? we need to start having more conversations like this. it all ties in together, homelessness, poverty, all economics. it's that pie you're talking about. >> promise me you will come back. >> i definitely will. thank you so much. >> james i'll see you later, maybe mother's day brunch. we're keeping jeremy and mayor reed around. you can hear from much of the guests by visiting our website. coming up next, how do we
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♪ pop goes the world [ female announcer ] pop in a whole new kind of clean with tide pods. just one pac has the stain removal power of 6 caps of the bargain brand. pop in. stand out. welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. the first time i read "the grapes of wrath" i was sitting in tnt grade english class. but there is one image that stays with with me. the description of crops going unharvested even as workers are eager and willing to pick the food. he writes -- the works, the roots of the vines of the trees must be destroyed to keep up the place. this is the saddest, bitterest thing of all, carloads of
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oranges dumped on the ground. the people came from miles to -- how would they buy it at 20 cents a dozen if they could drive out and pick them up. men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, angry at the crime, angry at the people coming to take the fruit, surprised over the golden mountains when the smell of rot fills the country. he wrote those words more than 70 years ago, yet the conditions he describes still ring true for 50 million americans living in food insecure households today. the usda defines it as a reduction in thunderstormal eating patterns due to a lack of money or resources form the number from the department's annual food security survey drawing a stark contrast between the haves and have-nots. ko rgd to the survey. 99% worry that their food would run out before they got money to buy more.
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85% 97% reported an adult do you see a pattern here? hungry families do not have enough food, into you they do not have enough money. much like steinbeck's migrant workers, people are victims of economics, not because of scarity. every year 40% of food produced goes uneaten. and that is the twisted irony of hunger in america today. what steinbeck called the crime that goes beyond denunciation, landfills brimming with rotting food while 15% of households don't have enough to eat. this economic problem demands an economic solution. in the meantime there's still an immediate need to fill millions of empty stomachs. right now the good news is there
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are already existing structures in place to do that. currently 55% of food insecure households rely on one or more of you see snap, wic or other programs. it's a problem still in search of a solution. engineer wli rosin from the national law center, and now joining us diana berthgot-roth, senior fellow at the manhattan -- >> let me start with you. are food stamps a good solution to the hunger problem? >> absolutely. food stamps is the number one program we have in this country that can fight hunger and that's meant to respond to times of crisis and times of economic recession. so really the food stamp program or snap as it's called now, was very responsive during the
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recession and helped to buffer millions of family. we know that through our research, it helps to proov under the age of 4. we know it actually promotes child development. it helps them to be school ready. food stamps are a fantastic program that helps to prevent hunger, helps to alleviate the health problems in and of itself, so a fantastic program. so we say often food stamps are good medicine, but the dosage is not quite enough. we hear about families who run out of food stamps, and that is because the actual allotment, the way it's calculated, is not truly reflective. what's going on. >> this notion of doing a cheer for food stamps, is not what we heard during the 2012 election cycle. let's listen to newt gingrich who at the time was a candidate for the republican nomination for the u.s. presidency, talking
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about the issue of food stamps. >> i'm going to have food stamps verse paychecks. president obama is the most effective food stamp president in american history. no president has put more people on food stamps than obama. >> so, diandiana, this is the o side of the argument, we see that food stamps four years after the beginning of the recovery, the recession ended in june 2009. more americans are on food stamps than ever before. we need to look at the root causes. what we need to do is make sure that people have jobs and that they can purchase their own food, because we've spent more on food stamps than sever before, 15% of americans are on food stamps. >> of course, but i will say a majority of them are working. i just want to be sure that we don't set up a dichotomy between having a job and having food
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stamps, because in fact a majority of snap households do in fact have people working, often, woing full time, often working for walmart, but in fact the other low-wage jobs, but working full time is not enough to feed their family. >> yes, they are on foot insecurity. they feel insecurity about food, because they're every secure about their employment and we are doing everything we can to discourages or z everyone. we have $2,000 that they have to pay if they don't have the right kind of health insurance. we have higher minimum wages, which discourages employers from hiring low-skilled workers. >> hold on, i would just -- >> we've raised the minimum wage to about $7.25 right now. we have raised the minimum wage, and that means that low skill workers have a lower chance of having a job. >> no, no, that's -- >> we may have raised the minute
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one wage. >> we have -- >> mayor reed, let me have you in here. >> we have raised it, but to attribute all of these factors to the lack of job growth i think is a bit misleading. you have corporations right now with unprecedented am of cash. you have a stock market doing better than it's ever done. i don't think you should blame people who are trying to get jobs, because businesses are making decisions not to invest in the economy, and i don't think that you should use the affordable health care act as an excuse to do what businesses weren't doing before. they are holding cash and because the use of technology is eliminating the -- and let me say specifically -- >> you are right will you right.
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businesses are on the sidelines holding cash, but look at gm. they're just expanding in china. what i don't want us to lose is that people can in fact work full time. 47% of those who are snap benefits.
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that's from your perspective. 50,000 poor families across the united states that we work with, and also witnesses to hunger. i do not see an end in the recession. one other thing i want to say is the biggest jump in new jobs are low-income jobs. minimum wage jobs. half of the people are adult women. you can still be working on -- working on minimum wage and still by food insecure and eligible for food stamps or snap benefits. that's why -- first of all, very thankful for snap benefits, but we need to turn our heads to the corporations who continue to pay substatistic living wage, because they're the ones who are dependent on government out there. they're the ones who have made tons of money off the recession, and are being able to tap into government subsidies to supplement -- >> let me just -- i'm going to
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draw that line clearly, and i'm going to come to you specifically, but that line very clearly is -- it is the walt mart story, you pay low wages, and then your employees get snap benefits, and then they actually go grocery shopping at the walmart, so it's just to say that's not just a theory. i promise as soon as we come back, jeremy, i want to ask you about some solutions to hunger. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind...
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all right. we're back.
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jere jeremy, what do you see as the key solutions to our hunger crisis? >> first of all, the snap program it's important to say has worked very well, but it could do the job alone. when we're paying people $7 an hour and housing costs $20 an hour, if you can actually afford an apartment, and food prices are going up, the snap program can't do it alone. we've got to have good, decent paying jobs for people. we've got to be able to provide people with housing assistance. if we do those things, we'll help to reduce dependence on the snap program. right now the program is doing a great job. frankly it's criminal that this week in congress republicans proposed cutting $20 billion from the snap program. the program is working well, it's doing exactly what it's designed to do, which is in a time of recession. ite to say for the people we work with day to day, we did not see the recessions four years ago, maybe it ended on paper four years ago, but certainly
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hasn't ended for low income people. >> our tout last month the number of people -- >> it's just not at 14%. >> up by 273,000. >> unemployment is not -- >> total unemployment rate published, including discouraged workers is 13.9%. almost 14%. our labor force participation rate is the same as 1979. >> all right. so, diana, i think we are -- i think where we would would grande. >> let's not do that now. >> diana -- >> let not use data -- if the use the same data, we pull the tape from your previous interviews, would you get on a show when george bush was president and say the unemployment rate was 14 points. you would use the unemployment
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rate that we use as a part of the american discourse. if you want to have a conversation about people who are being discouraged, that's fair, but to make an assert the unemployment rate is 14 points, when that's not the number we use, and when republican presidents and democratic presidents use the same number. all i'm saying is let's use -- >> and i think. >> my friend over here -- >> i don't think there's any debate on the issue that, as we're talking about today for poverty, the poor people feel recessions first and longest. so from the perspective of poor folks -- i think you just said people aren't feeling a recovery. -- >> it's not just -- >> what i'm asking about from the perspective of hunger, quite specifically in this context, where we haven't come to full recovery yet, even what we know is when we do come to quite a
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bit of recovery, we still have the hait to try to figure out what can happen at a more -- at a federal level, what are some of the local solutions to the issue of hunger? >> one of the things you can do is take the land that's available in cities and really get behind community gardens, so people have more access to healthier foods. >> it's not just food, but what kind. >> exactly. one part of the conversation we do more of is emphasize healthier foods, because their behaviors need to change because of if we have healthier foods, we take the land that was lost to forecloirs and cities around america, allow mayors to turn those over, we're doing that, when the most talented people in our city has a community garden near the martin luther king center named rasheed. he's a brilliant guy. he focusing on health. it's not just enough to focus on the program.
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>> it's an interesting point. one of the places where the snap program has come under critique is the kind of foods that are available. the people receiving food stamps are have better diets, so what it does is help put money in the pocket to make the better choices. the problem is people are so poor they're having to stretch their dallas, buy the cheapers food that will fill their children's stomachs. they know that it's not healthy, but they're trying to stretch their dollar. but let's not mix people who are on food stamps and poor dietary choices. all americans have to change their diet. is. >> what i would like to talk about is while community gardening is exciting and it does help britain communities out, talking more about good food, that's not really going to
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help solve hunger in this ilietry. having enough money in their pockets to be able to pay for their housing, their food and child care and for the things they need. so a community garden will not be able to do that -- >> we've got to take a break thank you, diana. i had to bring tiana back. we're going to talk about children's hunger and we had a discussion about what we're doing with our kids this summer. so when we come back, i'll talk to tiana about that. what do you think? that's great. it won't take long, will it? nah. okay. this, won't take long will it? no, not at all. how many of these can we do on our budget? more than you think. didn't take very long, did it? this spring, dig in and save. that's nice. post it. already did.
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nutritionally balanced low or no-cost lurch through the national program. but compare that against the tiny fraction of students who receive meals through the summer food service program, just 2 million children over the entire summer receive meals through that program when school is out. joining us back at the table is tiana gaines-turner, a member of the witness to hunger program. she's been homeless twice since 2004 through 2010. she's the mother of three kids and we were talking about this before the show. it's summer, now what do you do with the kids? so let me ask you about food and kids, because you were talking about it before, what is the impact of food insecurity on children? >> it's bad. it's readily bad. what people need to understand is that food insecurity is not just a depression or a stress for an adult. it's very much on the minds of
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young children every day, and i don't understand how people can sit and sleep, knowing that there's a child somewhere 8 years old, 4 years old, worrying about, is mom going to eat? is dad going to eat? and what about children with medical disabilities who can't eat certain things, don't have access to it, have to travel to get to it? that's a whole different everything. >> the average snap benefit per household is $278, for an individual, $133 a month. that means by many recipients by the middle of the month they have run out of the snap benefits to purchase food. marrian, i want to talk about wic. average wic benefits are just $45 a month. is the solution to addressing childhood hunger just increasing wic and snap?
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>> well, of course i want to make sure that families are making enough money so they don't have to rely on wic and snap. we know through our research and this has been known for a long time that the wic program prevents developmental delay. it helps a child's growth potential, extremely important for their school readiness and being ability to arrive to kidder garten ready, and alongside their peers. the fact that we have 50% of american children, 50 percent of the newborns in this country participating in the wic program, it tells us number one how great a reach is. it's a fantastic public health program that's been looked to from around the world as a great nutrition program. but other than the what you're seeing is a major increase in policy, the fact that elf 50% of america's newborns. >> it also says that we're risking or national competitiveness, which is a larger issue.
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50% of our kids who effectively, but you also should not ignore what that fact, which is what it happens to be, means for the long-term health of your country. i think that's how we break through, because this has to be about national -- >> i'd like to see more politicians do what i know mayor booker of newark and others have done, take the food stamp challenge, actually spend a week or a month trying to live on food stamps. if you do that, i think how you see the demogogry starts. >> please understand there's no starbucks on snap.
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there's no -- i don't know -- i'm not going to quote his name. one person said just eat fluff and pork skins. you know, if you're going to take the challenge to really understand and walk in a person's shoes who lives in hunger and poverty, do it on the amount we use every day for a child and household. also understand there's no access in a lot of low-income neighborhoods to the nice fruit we're seek on this table. that's not it. >> this piece about child hunger, i just want to make sure we understand this one more time, both on the national crisis as well as what we were talking about before. when children are hungry, it harms cognitive development, it can change the architecture of the brain and nervous system. social and behavior problems, so it turns out you're not actually a bad kid. just a hungry kid. >> mayor, you not only deal with these kinds of issues, you deal with education, crimes in your city and they bay be connected
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back. >> melissa, we have to get through expanding and getting more allies. we won't get more allies to our arguments with the same arguments. >> i got it. >> but i do believe we will grow allies when you start telling folks you're going to pay for this in the neighborhood, crime will go up if you have a child that didn't have appropriate access to meals. we have to say it in very plain ways. do you want to pay for more prisons? do you want more customers for your markets when we're having a conversation with business leaders? >> i so appreciate you labeled it that way, that we have to create more allies. whatever solutions we have to any of these poverty questions, we can feel real righteous about ourselves, but unless we have the political will that comes from building the coalition, what i like is let's get everything taking that challenge, taking the challenge with some honesty, people like you, tiana at the table and keep having the data, but yes we have
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to build the coalition. >> donnell penalize a child when they come and say they're hungry. a lot of people don't understand. to sit here and tell my story, and as my sisters and brothers do, sometimes we get penalized. for a child to say hungry and two days later dhs is at the door. that's another conversation. you have to make it where -- >> they're afraid to talk about their needs, because it could break up their families. >> that happens all the time. >> we could sit in a room for days and have a conversation. >> i welcome it. >> thank you. and the mayor is staying around for more. if you want to hear more from our guests today, many have authored columns outlining their ideas in more detail. you can see theirs and others on our website. up next, crime, punishment and poverty. just as the mayor wailing saying, if you don't solve
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poverty, you will grow prisons. we'll be right back.
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he fell in love with this country. after becoming a naturalized citizen. sandh served as a judge and then as a member of the u.s. congress. he was the firstation-american, the first indian-american and first sikh to serve in it is house of representatives.
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preventing private cloirs from considering a job applicant's criminal record before he or she has been selected for an interview or given a conditional offer of employment. signed by governor mark dayton, it would be the third state to ban the box for private employe employers. from fines, fees, restitution debts. the difficulty of paying off that defendant is compounded by state and federal restriction.
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barringing -- including puck housing assistance. -- reverend vivian nixon, excess tiv director, and cofounder of the ode indication from the inside-out coalition. let me start here. if you had to define them, what are the main barriers to employment that ex-offend irs face. so we need to ban the box.
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>> this one kills me. they have a skill when they come out and then they get out and find out there's another law on the books that tell you you can't be a barber in the state of california if you have a criminal conviction. >> we need to make sure we're opening a playing field so folks can reintegrate. >> ms. that's important to
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mention is it doesn't matter how minor or how old it is. one of my favorites that we see with some frequency is disorderly conduct, which can sometimes be accompanied with disorderly conduct, making a loud noise. what does that even mean? this is a summary offense that can stick with you your entire life and be a significant obstacle. what sense does that make? >> i have already done this. in the city of atlanta, we have removed this question, but we do conduct background checks, so it doesn't mean that i'm not going to find out our research the background of the individual, but what it does do is allow that person to at least proceed to an interview. >> get their foot in the door.
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>> we've got to do them locally around the country, baz that's where more than 70% of the country's population is and more than 75% of the gdp. >> i love this point, the kind of decisionmaking, that when you have that kind of decision-making power, going ahead and taking it. >> i just wanted to show the sort of impact of incarceration we've got it up for about a day. i don't know. the first dozen or so comments said i'm supposed to feel bad because you got incarcerated? you this mystical person and now you can't earn enough? i don't care.
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we live in a society where we talk about v. a justice system, but also gives them a second chance that, when your debt is paid to society, you should be able to move on with your life. there's a real moral implication here about the real schizophrenia we have, a christian nation, if you want to call it that that believes in forgiveness and redemption, but doesn't practice it, right? >> this is the piece i thinks gets very little attention. we're talk about a nationwide trend, states across the country and localities trying to shift it onto the backs of people who
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interact with the criminal justice system. i say interact, because you don't even have to be convicted of a crime to come out having debt on your backs we're putting this squarely on the backs of people at the precise moment it scarce significant consequences with it. >> so not only are they going to have the doors shut in their face multiple places just because of the criminal record, but they'ring goods to face real consequences. there are also credit checks. you can't do that as long as you don't owe any debt.
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[ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] we're talking about the link from positive and incarceration. how do we start thinking about solutions? >> one way to start thinking about solutions is to have a national understanding that the box on job applications is not necessary. employers don't really need to know whether or not you've been convicted of a crime. what they need to know is whether you pose a current threat. if we reframe the question and
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give employers the ways to evaluate a person's ability to do a job and not be a threat, we can get rid of the box and have a different process. question need to start talking about the education agenda, but that has ripple effects for people incarcerated, don't have -- they don't have access for a lot of reasons. one of the main reasons is that community colleges are out of the prison, because the tuition is no longer paid through pell grants. a growing trend is that 60% are asking on the college application if you've got convicted. sometimes they don't limit it to felonies. sometimes they don't even limit it to convictions. if the box is checked, are
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not -- know any about the process. it's security personnel. so this is stopping people with criminal convictions from gettinged education they need in order to move forward. >> so part of it is banning the box, to open up educational and opportunities talk to me also about licensing. there was -- we don't want you to be an elementary schoolteacher if you were in fact incarcerated. there are some things that are reasonab reasonable. >> we need to make sure we don't create a permanent unemployable class of people. we need to be smart about it, look at the qualifications, stepping back, and until you're able to think rationally about it. certainly there are convictions that given a certain time period
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we want to be more concerned about it, but lifetime bans don't do any good. we can't create that permanent class of unemployable. >> especially when we incarcerate so many people. >> we need people to have a chance to come beyond their record. i made a mistake and here's what i'm doing. these are qualified people that need to get out there and get back to work. >> i was thinking, mayor, also you've consistently held us to account to building the broader narrative. what happens to the neighborhood and to women who can't marry the fathers of the children, because they can't live in public housing if they do, because they're banned or, you know, your brother or your son is calling and using the prison along distance form, which
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requires you calling you using expensive collect fees. are there ways to minimize the impact of how incarceration xwof rischs whole communities? >> the answer is yes. that's the conversation we need to have. then we need to tie it to a broader conversation. in tom friedman's book, he basically talked about the underutilization of human beings, black people, rural people, latino people and other people. it's costing our economy about $400 billion a year. we've got to say as a country, we need that woman or man to be norm normal.
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el to be engaged and be a voter. we also have to tie it, i think, to this bigger national issue, or else it's just them. it's that group of people over there you know what? it's not. if you want to live in a united states that can't compete against china action and i mean that in a favorable way, then continue to grow large parts of your population who are underperforming. i think that that is a conversation that will allow conservatives of goodwill, who place the national imperative and competitives in --
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>> mayor, thank you, unfortunately -- i've had this all day, i've been feeling both this excitement about having this conversation, but also the sense of angst that we haven't gotten enough, which is part of why i do want folks to go to our web side, first thank you to mayor reed, to vivian and rebecca. we are not done. we are really just beginning. we want to continue to think about solution to poverty. we're not even done on the show, because you have a footnote about louisiana, about the governors bobbie jindal and huey long. that's next. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover, and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i've been with bp for 24 years. i was part of the team that helped deliver on our commitments to the gulf - and i can tell you, safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge safety equipment and technology,
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like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all our drilling activity, twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. safety is a vital part of bp's commitment to america - d tohe nearly 250,000 people who work with us here. we invest more in the u.s. than anywhere else in the world. over fifty-five billion dollars here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger.
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if you're a regular viewer, you know i harbor a particular distaste for governor jindal. sometimes we encourage it to use
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the hashtag fbj, forget bobby jindal. even though louisiana has one of the highest rates of poverty, hi education tax and proposals have indicated his lack of interest. if you maybe we should be remembering another louisiana governor, huey long. the epic bombastic political personality of his age long articulated a breath -- he called it simply "share or wealth." long, governing louisiana minced no words. the way to alleviate poverty was to take from the top and give to the bottom. he advocated a cap on the wealth of millionaires, proposed an aggressive redistribution, and argued that a home was a basic human rights.
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long made investments in public infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and roads, and long abhorred massive wealth inequality. in typically fashion, he once used a barb quu metaphor to explain the problems with wealth concentration. >> how many men ever went to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what's intended for nine tenths of the people to eat. the only way you'll ever be able to feed the balance of, is to make that man bring back some of the grub he's got for business with. >> how are you going to feed the balance of the people? long was no angel, unrepentantly corrupt, deeply paranoid and personally ambitious to the fault. in the end he was assassinated by a political rival. but along beyond his personal failings and recall the genius of the political -- forget bobby
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jindal, but remember huey long. the question he asked -- how will we feed the balance of the people? what are our nation's creative, humane, enduring solutions to poverty? seriously, what are they? that's our show for today. please help us keep this important conversation going, on our website. we've collected stories and ideas about solutions to poverty, and i encourage everyone to read more about our guests and what they have to say and what you, our viewers have to say. also online is the most valuable resource, nbc news' project "in plain sight" please take a moment to real through some of these incredibly important stories by going to in-plainsight.msnbc.com right now it's a preview with alex witt. >> get home to your family. the i.r.s. taking more heat to practices during the 2012
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election targeting certain groups. reaction from sandy hook on what's being done with the elementary school there. in today's office politics, luke russert talks about the legacy left by his father. and today is mother's day. i'm talking to the today show producers and author of today's mom, it is mother's day, just ahead. don't go anywhere. i'll be right back. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers.
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get 4x the protection against stress sweat. so you can capture your receipts, ink for all business purchases. and manage them online with jot, the latest app from ink. so you can spend less time doing paperwork. and more time doing paperwork. ink from chase. so you can. . the benghazi fallout. high drama on both sides of the sunday talks, as both sides battle over who knew what and when? ten years of terror for those three cleveland kidnapping victims. new word from them released today. we'll bring that to you. also, i'm talking to a survivor of another audible ducks, a